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Is Iran a Bigger Threat to Oil Prices and Our Economy or The War on Terror?

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Believe it or not, the biggest threat Iran poses is not in its nuclear program, control of the Strait of Hormuz, disregard for an inarguable standard of a free and fair political system or hostility towards Israel -- it’s the country’s role in the War on Terror.

Since the beginning of its quasi-theocracy in 1979, Iran has been at odds with America and the West for the threat it poses economically, diplomatically, and in regards to security in the international community.

Despite international opposition to its lack of a proven free and fair democratic system, Iranian authorities continue to suppress the voices that arose from the 2009 Green Movement. And continues to make advances in its nuclear program that have lead to sanctions by the United States and its European allies which have sparked suggestions by Iranian authorities to shut the vital, Strait of Hormuz.

strait of hormuz

The Strait of Hormuz is the source of 20% of the world’s oil supply.  The result, should that happen would be significantly troublesome for the recovery of the U.S.’s economy.  If the Strait were to shut down oil prices could rise 30%.  

And while America’s posturing in Afghanistan has also become an increasingly hot button issue these days, few have drawn attention to Iran’s connection with the world’s biggest, and arguably most notorious terrorist network, Hezbollah.

Hezbollah is the Iranian-backed Lebanese militant group that took life during Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982.  Since then, Iran was blacklisted by the U.S. State Department as the most prolific state sponsor of terrorism.  It has used Hezbollah as an instrument to serve its security interests without having to take immediate responsibility for its relationship with the organization’s activity throughout the world.

This is troubling as the United States considers removing troops from Afghanistan.  Not only would withdrawing from Aghanistan create a situation for a vacuum effect in which Al-Qaeda could revive its influence in the area, it would also remove the U.S.’s strategic ability to keep an eye on Hezbollah.

That being said, while the main target of the U.S.’s War on Terror has been Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah’s network has grown considerably.  Not only that, its activity is aggressively destructive.  

For instance in February alone, Iran, in connection to Hezbollah has been accused of a botched bomb plot in Thailand, a bombing in India that wounded an Israeli diplomat's wife, and an attempted bombing in the former Soviet republic of Georgia.  And there’s been an uptick in attempted, actual attacks on and assassinations of Israeli, Jewish, U.S., and Western targets from New Delhi to Tbilisi recently.

So why should this aspect of Iran be the most disconcerting for Americans?

The city of Los Angeles contains the most active Hezbollah presence in the United States.

The issue isn’t necessarily the city, but the fact that there’s an active Hezbollah presence in the United States, period.

Considering this, while there are many reasons Iran draws concern for Americans, policymakers should turn their attention to the bigger role Iran plays in America’s number one security concern, the War on Terror.

Contact Alyssa Bonk at abonk08@gmail.com

Find Alyssa on Google Plus here

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Thumbnail photo of Hezbollah solder from vkb.ivsg.com

Photo of Strait of Hormuz from ibtimes.com

Check out more of Alyssa's work at Luckandhustle.blogspot.com and Smart Girl Politics

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